Hi @melodyeco I noticed that you mentioned your service is with AT&T. You’ve asked your question in the community forums for Republic Wireless. Support forums for Republic devices and customers.
While the G6 is a phone that can be used with Republic, the AT&T Software on the device is different enough from the factory unlocked devices in use with Republic that any answers given here would be fairly generic knowledge. You may have better luck posting in the AT&T customer forums where they could point you to any specific tools offered by your carrier in these sorts of situations.
As far as your more general question, the SIM card in your phone stores no data, so removing it before resetting generally doesn’t make a difference.
As far as the microSD card goes, factory resets don’t erase external storage. SO, if the card is formatted as external storage whatever is on it will be preserved. If on the other hand it is formatted as internal storage whether it is in the phone or not, the data on it won’t be recoverable after a reset. Finally, any data stored on the phone memory itself, would be erased during the reset.
And to answer your original question, no I don’t think there’s any choice but a factory reset based on your symptoms and even then, that may not solve the issue.