Command-R only reboots to a Recovery Partition set up in 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion.
You've posted in the 10.6 Snow Leopard forum. Is that the version of OS X you have?
For 10.6, these instructions are what you need:
Thanks Matt, for you quick help on this .. Unfortunately, the link is no help at all. Well.. It seems to offer help, and it sorta gets you started with some cautions .. but, actually provides no instruction on how to fully restore using Time Machine. It quickly launches into "Migration Assistant" which is not Time Machine software.
My problem is with Time Machine .. and the instructions on how to use it for a full restore .. Those instructions simply don't exist, or are hidden, and left as an exercise for the student to find.
Ironicly, there was nothing wrong with my computer, until Apple issued a recall to replace the 1TB drive in iMacs. After 3 years of my iMac working perfectly ...I made the fatal choice to let Apple replace my drive, at the California, Escondido, North County Apple store. A work order was generated that would replace the drive, and a full restore would be done by the store, as I (like most everyone else) had no idea how to use Time machine for a full restore.
When I got the computer home (after 6 days in the store) .. I was shocked and horrified to find all data was gone.. it was essentially a new computer out of the box. They didn't "restore" anything.
I had backed up everything just before taking the iMac in. Unfortunately, all of my attempts at using Time Machine failed to produce any meaningful results .. And now .. a worse problem has developed.. When launching Time Machine.. the drive ( which does mount on the screen) is no longer listed as a "Time Machine Backup Disk) And apparently, cannot even be accessed by Time machine.
I called the Apple store .. They are sorry for the screw-up, and are saving my old drive, and will put it back in.. or use it, somehow, to restore my computer. Naturally, I do not trust them to be successful.
.. then there's the problem with the backup drive .. apparently caused by Time Machine.... sigh!
The article has a link to Migration Assistant (well, it's supposed to be a link, but it's not active), but the bulk of it does talk about recovering an entire system from TM. I've copied the relevant sections for you:
To recover your system:
Make sure your Time Machine backup disk is connected and turned on.
Using your Mac OS X installation disc, insert the disc into your computer, double-click the Install Mac OS X icon, and then choose Apple menu > Restart.
In the Installer, click Utilities, and then click Restart.
When the Language Chooser appears, select your language, and then click the Continue button (looks like an arrow).
In the Installer, choose Utilities > Restore System From Backup.
If you use an external disk, select it and click Continue.
Select the date and time of the backup you want to restore, and then follow the onscreen instructions.