My MacBook seems to be getting kernel panics when booting up. I've decided to create a backup, reinstall OS X, and restore from the backup. But I can't create a Time Machine backup because I unable to boot into the main partition.

My question is: how do I run Time Machine from the Recovery HD, you can only restore. I've also tried tmutil, but the terminal does not want to run anything from the other partition.

  • Have you tried just reinstalling OS X without wiping your HD? That solved my kernel panic problem, no Time Machine backup/restore necessary.
    – user24601
    May 26 '15 at 2:22

The Recovery HD doesn't have the ability to make a backup other than using Disk Utility or the terminal app to copy files.

If you have a spare HD available or don't want to risk reinstalling the OS (which isn't designed to delete any user files - but could if there is directory damage) I would say go buy a USB external drive and reformat it as GUID/Mac and use Disk Utility to "restore" the boot drive to the external drive. Then you can run the OS installer from Recovery or erase and install.

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