The effects of mechanical and thermal surface loadings on deformation of elastic-plastic semi-infinite medium were analyzed simultaneously by using the finite element method. Rigid rough surface of a magnetic head and smooth surface of an elastic-plastic hard disk were chosen to perform a comprehensive thermo-elastic-plastic contact analysis at the head-disk interface (HDI). A two-dimensional finite element model of a rigid rough surface characterized by fractal geometry sliding over an elastic-plastic medium was then developed. The evolution of deformation in the semi-infinite medium due to thermomechanical surface loading is interpreted in terms of temperature, von Mises equivalent stress, and equivalent plastic strain. In addition to this, the effects of friction coefficient, sliding, and interference distance on deformation behavior were also analyzed. It is shown that frictional heating increases not only the contact area but also the contact pressure and stresses. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.