This has worked for me in 98SE - should also be ok in XP. You need unused space on the hard drive large enough to take the C: drive. IN PM, select the C: drive an invole the copy facility. Run this to create a new partition and name thios something like <Copy C>. This will them be available as and when required. If you need to recreate, simple delete the C: drive, then copy <Copy C> into the original location, make C: active and off you go again.
To hide/unhide/ any partition apart from C:\, select the drive and right click. To make active a promary partition, select the drive and right click. In each case, the options will be there for you to implement.