Changes to boot screen

so i have run in to a annoying issue, i powered on the laptop for the first time in a week or so, figured id get the updates all done and play around for a bit. Software updater gave me a message stating i could only do a partial upgrade and then gave me a list of obsolete files to be deleted. when i went to restart after that it went through the zorin animated boot screen and then got stuck with a small white dash in the upper corner. i tried numerous times to reboot to no avail. finally i reinstalled the OS and now im running into differences im not sure are normal from what i had. one being the dell logo shows up on the boot sequence with the animated logo, the other is that the dell logo also now shows briefly when powering down. i know for a fact these were not there previously as i had made a comment about the zorin animation on boot up not being centered on the screen. i am not certain if the boot options have anything to do with this since i am unable to change it to legacy (which i thought is what it was set up as before) to test the theory. my laptop is older so i was also under the impression that uefi isnt necessary. any help is appreciated. i just want to be sure my laptop is set up correct. if this is the new normal for it then so be it, otherwise id like it to be like it was before the strange partial upgrade.

This seems likely to me. However, I have other concerns based on what you describe.
Zorin OS cannot and will not change whether you prefer EFI or MBR all on its own. It can only work with what is there.
If you have an EFI partition, then Zorin OS can be installed with EFI.
If not, it can be installed as Legacy.
You mention a partial upgrade and blinking cursor - and now some questions about the Boot - I would highly recommend running a S.M.A.R.T. check on the integrity of the hard drive.
There may be some hard drive failure at play here - which corrupted necessary files if a sector or block became inaccessible.

While I’m hoping that’s not the case as the hard drive is brand new Samsung evo ssd, stranger things have happened.