Introduction: I combine all of these (self-proclaimed :-) ) areas of expertise into one flat fee and I hope you will end up agreeing (see my LinkedIn for career) it's quite an experience:
+Windows laptop/desktop (I **DO NOT** handle Macs, Chromebooks or Surface Pro) - fine tuning and rooting out complex performance issues.
+Network troubleshooting, security expert, malware hunter, digital forensic incident and response engineer
+Virus Removal and Data Recovery (including upgrading from HDD to SSD and Windows installations)
+Mentoring (teaching) consulting/advising on any systems engineering projects
More about my services: Although I am in Mckinney, TX some 80% of my customers are nationwide. I am hired by so many here (#1 in the nation) because I don't hide from you the truth of what *REALLY* has to be done. And doing that has two ingredients (1) spending a lot of time with you and your PC and (2) being a very smart :- ) and caring person. I'll start and end my introduction with this Bible verse: “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)
I spend close to 5 to 7 solid hours on your PC going through it with a fine tooth comb. Some to all of it alone, some to all of it with you alongside if you have time and desire to be extremely mentored. I always work around your schedule and the work might be broken up into "sessions" -- whatever it takes to get the job done right. IF SOMEONE ELSE FIXES YOUR IMMEDIATE ISSUE IN 2HRS THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING FOR YOU! ZERO! I assure you they have omitted important tasks. My competitors know how to skip important details -- this is a form of risk management they engage in that I consider unethical. Perhaps it is ignorance, perhaps it is greed. I cannot plead ignorance and I am not greedy. Thus I am bound to do everything I know is appropriate but I cannot possibly charge for all my time to do it right. So I choose not to. Hence an excellent flat fee of $175 to totally check everything, mentor you on performance and security, and advise you thoroughly. When finished, you will wonder why people hire other "professionals" who gloss over so many things and just focus on your immediate issue. That's called "penny-wise" pound foolish.
I fully and professionally document everything I do and review and teach you what I did at the end (or along the way) and focus on how to keep your computer maintenance free and security safe.
For example, I go over with you the dangers of keeping un-encrypted passwords in browsers and pointing you in the right direction - a task that takes 30-45 minutes of my time. I 100% guarantee you this is more important than any of your immediate issues and give you real world examples why and the consequences of my competitors avoiding this topic (because it takes time they don't care to give you). They think "what you don't know doesn't hurt you". They could not be further from the truth. While I play four-dimensional chess teaching you, they play tiddly-winks :- ) (one of my favorite customers urged me to use this line :- )).
More examples, it take 1hour for me to copy, review and filter your windows event logs to see all the silent unhealthy things going on that are comparable to clogging of arteries -- my competitors will give you a stent -- I will give you a stent, change your diet, put you on exercise program, and check for other health issues. That's a good analogy. For people with computers, what they learn from me will be life-changing. My competitors will teach you almost nothing.
How can I prove all this to you? Simple: read my last 30 or so reviews! Or look me up on LinkedIn. Then look at any of my competitors and sort their reviews by *lowest rated* and it might scare you. There reviews are always very short because their work is "slam-bam-thank-you-ma'm!" For them it's all about making money by servicing as many people in one day, breathlessly
My checklist is extensive and simply takes time to complete -- this includes studying Windows event logs, network behavior troubleshooting, browser and windows tweaks, deep forensics for well-hidden or unnecessary processes, nudging you past broken or out-of-date Windows updates, etc. I leverage tools only used by the most knowledgeable troubleshooting experts (autoruns, procexp, procmon, etc.). I have mastered these tools and understand how Windows works under the hood. I never use ccleaner and seldom use MalwareBytes and if you hire me I will teach you why -- it boils down to this: security and performance tuning requires painstaking and expert *manual* intervention and training and my competitors choose to use tools designed for amateurs and incapable of doing what only an expert can do manually. If they are lucky, these tools will give you an immediate improvement - but you will learn close to nothing from the experience and the harder to find malware will escape their attention. Also absent from their approach will be the much-needed extensive checkup you have no idea you sorely need and which they simply avoid or are incapable of providing. While they *know* you don't know any better, my goal is full disclosure of everything of importance for you to know.
As stated earlier, your immediate issue is often the least of your problems. You deserve to know and learn about EVERYTHING that is wrong so you can enjoy your PC moving forward and perhaps even share the knowledge with others. Since I also focus on training ("50% of security is "education"), you will learn enough to *almost* never get in trouble again.
All for a very low flat fee. It's a journey and giving so much of my time to help eradicate evil software, evil scammers, etc. is a personal mission of mine to benefit as many people as possible, one customer at a time. I only truly wish and pray my competitors would feel burdened and inspired to do the same.
MORE: I love helping and teaching people. I assess and steer people away from purchasing a new PC or paying a lot for very little here on Thumbtack. My flat fee may seem high, but can almost 700 smart and happy customers be wrong?
From 100s of miles away, if possible, I will teach you how to migrate from one version of Windows to another (for example, Windows 7 to Windows 10) the proper way (if my competitors do not create a separate ISO on a thumb drive and backup your files and tell you you will need to re-install all apps, then THEY ARE TAKING A DANGEROUS shortcut - my approach takes more time and and 100% safe and no viruses or "crud" will follow and linger as can happen with their "quick-and-dirty" approach) .
I will teach you how to add physical RAM, clone a disk drive, switch from HDD to SSD, etc. Or steer you into how to get the help you need if we can't do it remotely.
I also help people who have been involved in Internet scams and criminal activity by assessing and documenting what damage was done and if possible, getting them refunds. I advise them on remedial action and teach them about the importance of a password manager and two-factor authentication. I am sensitive to people being vulnerable and try to empower them to confidently prevent that. Even here my approach is different -- my approach forces you to err on the side of caution and teaches you why you must take painstaking steps to remedy the situation -- this alone takes a couple of methodical hours. Shortcuts will put you in regret.
I enjoy communicating with people and mentoring them such that they both understand how they got into trouble and how to nearly permanently prevent it from happening again. For example, relying on your anti-virus and scanners will only find 50% of malware since the other 50% are "in the wild" (new) and will take months to be discovered. Some bad apps or browser extensions will be undetected for years.
Thus, I teach you how to "extreme" vet these -- yet another time consuming item of great importance. Every new (undiscovered) virus I have removed was *undetected* by the mainstream anti-virus running on the PC which is further proof the bad guys are ahead of your typical Thumbtack professional and are well aware what tools they use -- but my message to those viruses is this: you can run but you can't hide from Harry Stein :- ). I also have a glowing letter of recommendation from the head of CERT which is the cyber security organization funded by the DHS. My passion is to help people who have been victimized -- be it scammers or the quality of Microsoft updates which as most know, has somewhat deteriorated in years 2019-2020 (things seem better in 2021).
Finally, I do this as a ministry of service for my faith in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior who has placed me under compunction to give back my time and skills to people in distress. "Unto those whom much is given, much is expected!"
Please, please do not mistake any of this message for arrogance -- instead it's sincerely a **passion** to act out my desire to serve people! Ultimately, if I manage to bless you it is as much or more me who receives blessings right back! “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)