The vibration characteristics of a thermal fly-height control (TFC) head slider in the proximity and asperity contact regimes attract much attention, because the head–disk spacing (HDS) must be less than 1 nm in order to increase the recording density in hard disk drives. This paper presents a numerical analysis of the microwaviness (MW)-excited vibrations in the flying head slider during the touchdown (TD) process. We first formulate the total force applied to the TFC head slider as a function of the HDS, based on rough-surface adhesion contact models and an air-bearing force model. Then, the MW-excited vibrations of a single-degree-of-freedom (DOF) slider model at TD are simulated by the Runge–Kutta method. It is found that, when the MW amplitude is less than the spacing range of static instability in the total force, the slider jumps to a contact state from a near-contact or mobile-lubricant-contact state. It then jumps to a flying state even when the head surface is protruded further by increasing the TFC power. When the MW amplitude is relatively large, a drastically large spacing variation that contains a wide range of frequency components below 100 kHz appears in the static unstable region. These calculated results can clarify the mechanisms behind a few peculiar experimental phenomena reported in the past.

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