Ok, let me break it down;
There are 2 types of Orange Hero out there:
a) Normally network locked hero that can be unlocked with a purchased code
b) CID/Security locked hero that will not successfully unlock with a code (unless the code is supplied directly from Orange).
As far as I know there is no way to tell which one you have until you try and unlock it with a code. In this case, you will get a message saying Network Unlock Successful, however the phone will not register on a network (and may display the sim card symbol with a red "X" on it). Similarly on a reboot it will once again ask for the network unlock code. The phone cannot be used like this.
For unlocking, the best sequence is as follows:
1) Buy a code and try it, you might be lucky with which batch your hero came from and it may just work.
2) If this fails, flash the MoDaCo Custom ROM 2.8 and retry using the above code; this appears to have worked for a few people.
3) If the above 2 methods fail, the cable unlock seems the most reliable.
During the process there is a terminal command:
This disables the security lock, however NOT the network lock.
What that means (to my understanding at least) is that it removes the lock in place that prevents the purchased code from functioning. In other words it DOES enable the code to work - and did so in my case.
So even if you need to go the cable route, you'll need a code anyhow, and as such it makes sense to purchase a code first and try method 1 & 2 above just in case - saving the expense of making the cable. For me that wasn't much - I only needed the extUSB connector and the USB/UART PCB, as I already have my own wire and soldering equipment, but for someone who doesn't have access to such things (perhaps at a university or school you could get access?) it might be a bit pricey, especially considering the need for the code anyhow...
If you find for some reason that you don't need the code (you'll know straight away after the cable unlock as when you boot with the new SIM in place it will ask you for the Network Unlock Code) then request a refund, on the basis that it did not actually work for you and you had to seek another method. I find this an unlikely outcome however, I believe you still need the code?
Perhaps there is a way of bypassing the network lock through the terminal using the serial connection - however I am afraid I do not know it!
Hope this was helpful
Let me ask the following way.
If I have Orange locked hero and would like to unlock it so it can work with any SIM card. What I need to do:
1. To purchase unlock code and apply it?
2. To make CID unlock using the cable as described in the first post?
3. point 2 above plus point 1 above?
4. something not mentioned by me?