Knowledge Base

File Extension GHO

The file extension GHO is associated with a backup utility application known as Norton Ghost which is produced by Symantec Corporation. Norton Ghost is an application which provides a way to create a complete image of your PC’s hard drive for the purpose of backup and restoration in the event of a hard drive failure.

The file extension GHO is defined as a backup file type that contains a complete image of a PC hard drive, including files up to 2GB in size and other contents. The image is similar to taking a snapshot of PC contents which is then stored on a disk to allow you to retrieve files that have been lost or corrupt or to restore your entire hard drive if you experience a system crash.

Norton Ghost gets its name from the technique of ghosting your PC. The process of ghosting refers to creating a clone of a PC’s hard drive and contents. This allows you to access files and software applications without having to perform a complete reinstallation.

Ghosting is used not only for backup and restoration but as a way of easily accessing the contents of your PC in the event you must completely wipe the hard drive clean after your PC has been infected with malware. Ghosting is also convenient if you decide to upgrade your hard drive to provide more storage space and improve PC performance.

How to Open GHO Files

It is important to mention that the GHO file extension is created by earlier versions of Norton Ghost. This means that you will be unable to open GHO files using the later versions of Norton Ghost. Also, since file extension GHO is an earlier format for Norton Ghost, you are limited to a file size of 2GB for each file that is included in the disk image.

Additionally, if your entire hard drive exceeds 2GB, a file system will be created similar to a split archive file format such as file000.GHO, file001.GHO, file002.GHO and so on. Regardless, you can still use the disk image to backup and restore files on a PC’s hard drive.

GHO files created with Norton Ghost can also be encrypted for security purposes. In this case, you must know the unique ID number for the encryption key to open and view the contents of encrypted files on the disk image.

Norton Ghost is designed for the Windows operating system and the only way to open the GHO file extension is by using earlier versions of Norton Ghost. GHO files are related to Norton Ghost 2003 and earlier.