Here is a note from the Apple website mentioning specifically about the "3 long beeps, 3 short beeps, 3 long beeps" combo beep tone. I could NOT locate any Apple reference to "3 short beeps, 3 long beeps, 3 short beeps". These two tone combinations are clearly not the same.
"Mac computers: About startup tones
Learn about the different sounds your computer makes when it starts up and what they mean.
Mac computers can produce several sounds when starting up. Your Mac should produce the familiar single tone on start up. If you hear another tone it can indicate problems with your computer.
1 tone, repeating every 5 seconds: This indicates no RAM is installed.
3 successive tones, a 5 second pause (repeating): This indicates RAM does not pass a data intregrity check.
1 long tone while holding down the power button: Indicates an EFI ROM update is in progress on a computer manufactured before 2012.
3 long tones, 3 short tones, 3 long tones: Indicates EFI ROM corruption is detected and the computer is in EFI ROM recovery mode.
Should you need to restore the EFi ROM on certail Mac computers produced before 2008, you'll need to use a recovery CD to restore the EFI ROM. Newer computers automatically recover from a corrupted ROM; when this occurs a progress bar appears on a grey background. Do not disturb the machine while the ROM recovery is taking place. It will restart back into OS X when it restarts. For more infomation on EFI ROMs, see EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs."
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