A simulation method, in which grooves are virtually distributed on the slider air-bearing surface instead of on grooved medium surface, is developed to investigate slider flying ability fundamentally. Its feasibility is verified. The characteristics of a slider flying over a discrete track medium (DTM) surface are simulated, including the flying attitude, groove parameters effect on flying profile, 3 σ flying height, and flying height sensitivity on altitude of the slider. Simulation results indicate that when a traditional slider is flying over a DTM surface, it will have a higher 3 sigma of flying height, a more sensitivity on altitude, and a bigger flying height loss.

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