I worked at a computer store for several years and then for a elementary school as a technology coordinator. I am the go to computer person for most of my friends and family.
I can service both Macintosh and PC computers. Hardware repairs on newer Macintosh computers often requires special tools and parts which makes them more difficult to repair than windows machines that tend to use more generic parts. For software problems the opposite is generally true. Macintosh software problems are generally easier to fix than Windows problems.
Windows computers often get very slow after a few years of use. Many computer repair people offer to run utilities to speed up and fix windows problems. While that process will generally help a small amount nothing beats formatting the drive and starting over from scratch. Unless the computer has a large amount of specialty software installed it can take the same or less time to backup and format a computer as it would take to run repair utilities that may not work.
One very good option to extend the life of your older Macintosh or Windows machine is to install linux on it. In the past few years the usability of Linux has increased dramatically and many things people use their computers for are now web based. Since linux runs well on older machines and supports the latest version of Chrome and Firefox it makes for an excellent choice to extend the life of an older computer.
I can recover data for both PC and Macintosh computers. No data recovery is 100% but I have a fairly good success rate with data recovery. There are two main types of data recovery. The first is accidental damage cause by deleting files or formatting a drive you didn’t want really want to delete or format. The second is recovering data from a failing drive.
For recovering accidentally deleted data success directly corresponds to the amount of use the drive has seen after the accident happened. For example if you accidentally delete pictures off of your camera and realize it immediately and have a data recovery done the chance of success is near 100%. However, if you don’t realize you shouldn’t have delete the pictures and completely refill the card with new pictures the chance of success is near 0%.
For a failing hard drive if the drive turns on and can be seen by the computer I can usually get some data off of it. Recovering data from a drive can be risky because recovering data requires a lot of data to be read from the drive which is hard work for the drive and can make it fail faster. For drives which can’t been seen by the computer or for less chance of failure there are companies such as Drive Savers who work miracles. They have clean rooms and can actually take apart a hard drive, replace parts and recover data from the drive. This is impossible for a normal computer repair shop to do. However, they are also very expensive.