Acer notebooks should come with a software call NTI backup NOW! that will make an image of your current partition to CD's or a DVD. You can always use Norton Ghost or some other form of imaging.
As for the hidden partition, you can't see it in XP because it's a primary partition, you'll need Partition Magic to view the contents of the partition, but I'm not sure if it can backup that partition to a DVD. I would try calling Acer and see if it's possible, I have an Acer notebook also with the recovery partition, but I made a backup of my current OS to some DVDs.