Rigid rough surface of a magnetic head and smooth surface of a hard disk are chosen to perform a comprehensive thermo-mechanical contact analysis at the magnetic head-disk interface, which is characterized by using the fractal geometry. The effects of mechanical and thermal surface loadings on deformation of the semi-infinite medium in normal and sliding contacts are analyzed simultaneously by developing a 2D finite element model. It is shown that frictional heating increases not only the contact area but also the contact pressure and stresses. The maximum temperature occurs at the tip of the asperities of the semi-infinite medium. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.