With ever increasing areal density, interactions of particles with a head-disk interface become an ever more important factor impacting the drive reliability. Although particles trapped between the head and the disk could induce mechanical damage to the media resulting in permanent loss of data, data loss has also been observed without any obvious signs of physical damage to the media. We devised a component-level test to study this mode of data erasure on both glass and aluminium media. Our data indicate that the frictional heating associated with contact force between the particle and the disk could lead to permanent loss of data. In addition, we performed investigations to study the impact of air bearing design features, load/unload mechanism, and particle number density on the head disk interface.