Is a matter of minutes...
Linux Mint 17 is a Linux Distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04.
Linux Minti 17.1 is ... a Linux Distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 too.
The Mint Team decided to base the developement of their fine distro on the LTS version of Ubuntu and to introduce a graphical dist-upgrade toool allowing the update fron the 17 to 17.1 version without the need to format.
And here's how:
First, update the update manager:
then, without reboot, in the update manager Edit Menu appears a new voice:
Upgrade to Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca
Then is about a Windows-like procedure
Except for the obligation to read the release notes
and the new features list
for the rest of the update is fast (much depends on the speed of the internet connection for downloading packages)
and, after the reboot...
I tested successfully the procedure on a Cinnamon 17 64 bit HP 6540b Probook, on a Virtualbox machine, on a Mate 17 64 bit Asrock Q2900-ITX based barebone and on a Mate 17 64 Asus EEPC 1011PX.
The update procedure between one release to another is the icing on the cake for Mint, then...
Buon Appetito :)