Small perturbation and modal-analysis methods were employed to systematically study a damped slider's dynamic characteristics. We found that a design with grooves distributed on a trailing pad effectively improved the slider's damping at higher frequencies, and the damping ratio was dependent on the number of grooves, their depth, location, width, length, distribution, orientation, and types. A higher damping ratio could be obtained by optimizing these parameters. The femto slider with distributed damping grooves on a trailing pad had a higher damping ratio in the third mode, and hence, its responses to disk parallel and wavy motion were greatly reduced. This new design for the damped slider was an effective solution reducing the slider's modulation.