Understand the reluctance to do the reset. My only other suggestion is to try doing a search on the internet but don't identify the cell phone just use a simple search like
" Mac does not recognize connected cell phone via USB port" and see if there are any suggestions that may not require reset.
I found one for a Samsung phone doing the same thing, not seeing the phone on the USB port. Maybe if you can clear the connected issue it will help with the other issues. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2703237?start=15&