Each computer, whether it’s a DELL, HP, Acer or even a custom built system, is an island unto itself before Windows 10 (or some other operating system) starts. Since the 1980s, hardware vendors have worked together to standardize around common access routines and commands for managing your BIOS Boot Options. The BIOS is a critical bit of low-level code stored in nonvolatile memory that your computer uses to manage your hardware and load Windows 10 or another operating system.

A new standard called UEFI or Universal Extensible Firmware Interface came online a decade ago and became the standard for new PCs and devices preinstalled with Windows 8 or later. UEFI offers more advanced options than BIOS, with support for features such as a graphical user interface and mouse support, making it easier to configure boot and hardware settings. UEFI also supports recent security standards required by Windows 10 and previous releases such as Secure Boot, which maintains the integrity of a computer’s state and prevents malicious code from compromising your system at boot time. After decades of systems using BIOS, malware has become more sophisticated, where it is even possible for malicious code to easily infect key operating system code such as the Master Boot Record.