Current Top Pro
Hired 719 times
28 years in business
Cash, Check, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle
Currently a Top Pro
Top Pros are among the highest-rated, most popular professionals on Thumbtack.
Jan - Jun
Jul - Dec
This pro indicated that they reviewed CDC safety guidelines for COVID-19 and pledged to do the following:
Maintain 6 feet of distance from customers
Wear masks during the job
Photos and Videos
Data Recovery Service
I have an old MacBook Pro which failed approximately 5 years ago and neglected to retrieve my photos/videos. I took it to a computer store with the hopes of retrieving my data, but they could not. A year later I found Mr. Stein and decided to try his services. Though my data was unable to be recovered by Mr. Stein, he kept me thoroughly informed throughout his trials and attempts in the recovery. Mr. Stein possesses a wealth of knowledge in computers and provided recommendations of data recovery companies who could possibly retrieve my data. I was pleased with the service fee and would recommend Mr. Stein's services.May 17, 2020VerifiedStein Solutions's reply
Keith, thank you for your review. Readers: I am able to recover 75% of the time but 25% I have to refer people to more expensive ADVANCED DATA RECOVER shops (I guide them through the process and their best choices). This is a good opportunity to teach everyone how to ‘vet’ data recovery people on Thumbtack. 1. If they don’t spend 20 minutes with a free chat or more on the phone with you, DON’T HIRE THEM. 2. They must ask you if you dropped it, hear beeping sounds, or clicking sounds, or even cracked open the drive itself (a major no-no for 95% of Thumbtackers). Because if you hear beeping or clicking, they can’t fix it unless they are “24-Hour Data Recovery” or “Ace Data Recovery” locally, and perhaps at most one or two other local ADVANCED DATA RECOVERY shops. 3. ADVANCED DATA RECOVERY means they have a professional lab with a “clean room” and do surgery using donor drives. Many thumbtackers will charge you $50 to $75 just to pick up the drive to end up saying no and consult you into one of those places. This is evil and disingenuous. You need to save the $75 for I talk for 20 minutes and when I know it’s hopeless for me, I advise them how to proceed with best-of-breed affordable options and I steer them away from all but one or two Thumbtack CLEAN ROOM CORPORATIONS who do *FREE* diagnosis. That’s *FREE* as in *F-R-E-E*. Why would I want to take your $75 knowing I can’t help from the word go? 4. If they refer you to any ADVANCED DATA RECOVERY look them in the eyeballs and ask them if they have a partner program with them where they get a 10% or so discount? Ask them. I do with one company and I **pass this 10% along to my customers**. Note ADVANCED DATA RECOVERY can range from $600 to $2,000. In Keith's cause there were enough unknowns to offer my modest $35 diagnosis fee which ended up in over 10 hours of investigation, research and attempts to see the drive to earn the larger modest fee of $175, far cheaper than ADVANCED DATA RECOVERY. I failed. :- ) First of all, although the drive was damaged without beeps or clicks, it had over 2,000 S.M.A.R.T. Type “5” (relocated sectors) errors. That’s a damaged rive and those sectors could be where “X” is. What is “X”? Well, this was a FileVault (not FileVault 2) data-encrypted disk drive inside a 2011 Macbook Pro that those 2,000 errors. We are 99% sure the data corrupted is in the volume management area where part of the encryption keys are maintained. We used the trial versions of the top-two best-of-breed (and very expensive) software that could take the last known user password and other variants (only FileVault2 uses encryption keys) and tell you if the password worked without recovering the files. All of these failed. It's still possible that a very advanced recovery center can scour through the undamaged areas and *maybe* piece together enough of the encryption data using the last password used to in turn un-encrypt the data. These labs are few and far between in the world but we are exploring them. I showed Keith several videos of what the advanced folks would try and we are looking for one who will attempt this for free and offer a quote if they can un-encrypt. One in England can try to fix it remotely. We shall see. We also tried to re-insert a cloned non-damaged drive into the Mac, to no avail. Most Thumbtackers do not understand the importance of immediately cloning any drive and item #4 from above: YOU MUST ASK THEM IF THEY WILL DO THAT CLONING because if they do not, they 100% risk making the drive worse. Even the clone I do is risky and I tediously explain that risk to the customer. ADVANCED DATA RECOVERY surgically repair first and *THEN* hardware clone. With respect to SMART Type 5 errors, this only occurs when you write to the disk and the hardware clone does not do this to make things worse. Still, mis-aligned heads can literally scrape data when you clone the drive. My competitors don’t understand this and risk making things worse whereby even advanced Data recovery cannot help them. Summary: it’s not easy to vet a data recovery expert on TT. They love to grab $75 for doing nothing. In Keith’s case, BTW, with all those S.M.A.R.T. errors, it's likely beyond repair. We will find out with a couple of last gasp attempts with super advanced companies who will only quote if they think they can recover. This remains a never-give-up project until the last gasp of breath has been exceeded. Keith, thanks for the great review again!
I had been very nervous about getting remote help from someone on the internet. Harry was terrific though! He is extremely knowledgeable and patient. My computer works great, my problem was fixed and a learned a ton! Thank you!Apr 15, 2020Verified
Mr. Stein is great! He is quick to get to work, is very descriptive in what he does, and educates you along the way. Great value and great service! Will definitely use him again when I have any computer needs!Jun 19, 2020Verified
I found Harry Stein to be the most professional computer whiz "in the world." He is most knowledgeable in his field, works diligently to solve any problem you may have. He is thorough in his delivery in order for you to understand what your problem(s) is and how to solve it. I would recommend him if you need any kind of help with your computer. Call him first instead of trying to solve your problem yourself.Apr 25, 2020Verified
This is the best service I have ever received! Thorough, knowledgeable, explains in common language the issues and exactly what needs to be done. Provides service after the service. Harry is definitely the "EXPERT" guy for your computer needs. When I am in the market to purchase a computer, I will be making a call to him for a recommendation!Jul 4, 2020Verified
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?My price is a flat fee (parts are sold at my cost) and includes interview for constructing a forensic timeline, performance tuning, malware/virus removal, uninstalling unnecessary applications, reducing committed RAM memory footprint, security checkup, manual inspections (scheduled tasks, services, event logs, indexing, etc., resource monitoring), system integrity checks, memory and disk diagnosis, network troubleshooting (DNS, latency, congestion, network retransmissions, speedtest), full documentation on all of the above results and full mentoring on how the customer got in trouble and how to prevent the issue(s) from re-occurring. I also freely offer advise on any topic. To my competitors: you are being totally disingenuous and serving up mediocrity if you honestly believe you can walk up to a customer computer (or remote in) and get this work done properly in anything less than *4* hours. You are scamming them. Period. Plain and simple. This means YOU! How do I know this? Because I have had to clean up after almost all of you, with hundreds of customers. I can count on two hands the number of Thumbtack professionals across the country I have respect for. They all have a 4.9 or 5.0 average. They don't have multiple 1-star and 2-star reviews. Almost all 5s. They don't charge $50 to $100 for a password reset but freely recommend the customer go to Best Buy and get it done for $29. See my reviews. There is only one way to do the job, and that is to do it right and do it ethically and not charge a nickel if you don't fix the problem. I have bad news for novice technicians: IT TAKES TIME TO DO THINGS RIGHT. For my future customers: don't believe a word anyone says when they tell you otherwise.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?Every new customer is a new experience. We speak for 15 to 30 minutes and I describe how things will go in the best and worst case and then I remote in and begin to go through my extensive checklist mentioned earlier. I do this over the course of as many hours and perhaps days as necessary -- always working around the customer schedule and respecting their sense of urgency and/or time pressures. I either work alone or with the customer on the phone: it's always their choice (some love to learn; others can be overwhelmed). At the end, I need to review my documentation to show them the results and make any recommendations about how they should manage their computer going forward.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?I read endless articles from the top security experts across the country and am continuously evaluating third-party tools and observing in amazement how little they can do to stop the onslaught of malware. However, these companies (Norton, Symantec, Avast, Kaspersky, AVG, TrendMicro) are most appreciated as they are a perfect complement to an educated computer user. I have a Bachelor's Degree double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh where I grew up (however I have been a 25+ year resident in my home in Texas).