What is GhostStartService.exe?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the GhostStartService.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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GhostStartService.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with GhostStartService
GhostStartService.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Norton Ghost Start belongs to software Norton Ghost Start Service by Symantec (

Description: GhostStartService.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. GhostStartService.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files (x86)"—mostly C:\Program Files (x86)\Symantec\Norton Ghost 2003\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Norton SystemWorks\Norton Ghost\. The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 200,704 bytes. 
The program is not visible. GhostStartService.exe is not a Windows core file. The application can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. Therefore the technical security rating is 20% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you encounter difficulties with GhostStartService.exe, you could also safely remove the program using the uninstall program of Norton Ghost (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program), consult’s Customer Service for advice or update the program.

Recommended: Identify GhostStartService.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as GhostStartService.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the GhostStartService.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

Norton Ghost. Service File. But what does it do ?
Norton Ghost Service
Ghost start service.Can be turned off in services but causes no probs.
Belongs to Norton Ghost
It belongs to Northon ghost, (image drive backup)
for this ghost my net link always break down

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of GhostStartService.exe: based on 14 votes with 6 user comments. 9 users think GhostStartService.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 5 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous.

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Best practices for resolving GhostStartService issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with GhostStartService. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the GhostStartService.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

GhostStartService.exe [all]