Skipping the formatting of /data when installing onto a Galaxy S5?

I’m getting ready to install /e/ on my Galaxy S5 (klte) device.
The device’s /data partition is not encrypted.

Is it actually necessary to reformat /data before flashing the /e/ ROM?
The reason I’m asking is because I have a lot of data on my /sdcard partition, and that lives under /data/media, and I don’t want to lose my /sdcard contents.

I know I can back up the /sdcard partition on my micro sdcard or to my desktop computer, but I’d like to avoid taking that step, unless it’s absolutely necessary.

So, can I ignore the install step which involves the formatting of /data?

Thank you very much.

No need of formating if it isn’t encrypted, but I wipe of /data is need. Without wipe you can run into a bootloop or a lot of ‘force closed’

Yes, because theoretically it is not necessary to format the /data partition.

But knowing from practical experience …

And - what if a “Factory data reset” has to be done at some point?

A Factory data reset erase flash memory data, delete internal memory (document, video, image file, etc.)

Saving important data of any kind protects against user frustration. A backup with a few ADB commands takes only little time.

Thank you very much.

Yes, I take backups, and I am covered for factory reset, etc. It’s just that I want to save the time and effort needed for restoring the items in my /sdcard partition after flashing /e/, if possible.

Given that I now know that it’s theoretically not necessary to format /data in this case, I’ll take a chance and try installing /e/ without doing so. If it fails, then I’ll just go back into recovery and repeat the procedure with a format of /data.

Well, the flashing without the /data format left me in a non-bootable state.

I rebooted into recovery and redid it with the /data formatting, and it worked.

A perfect example of how theory and practice couldn’t be more different.
@hippoman, welcome to the /e/ club.