Preston North End 1 Derby County 1
The Lilywhites' livewire striker David Nugent fired the home side ahead after 15 minutes, but honours finished even after Dickson Etuhu gave away a needless penalty two minutes before the break, which Inigo Idiakez gratefully put away.
New Rams manager Phil Brown will have been pleased with the performance his team gave in front of his watching ex-boss Sam Allardyce and even happier with the point they took back to Pride Park.
Preston striker Richard Cresswell, leading scorer last season, had an early chance when he shot wide of the post before his strike partner put the hosts in front.
A collision between Derby defender Andrew Davies and goalkeeper Lee Camp as they attempted to deal with a Cresswell flick-on saw the ball fall invitingly to Nugent, who stroked into the empty net from seven yards out.
Home left-back Callum Davidson saw a 40-yard shot tipped over by Camp before, at the other end, Morten Bisgaard drove a long-range shot over the crossbar.
Just before half-time a clumsy trip by Etuhu on Paul Peschisolido in the box gave the visitors a spot-kick, which Idiakez fired straight down the middle to level the scores.
The second half was a quieter affair, although both teams had half-chances as Cresswell headed too high from a Davidson cross and Tommy Smith put a right-foot shot over the bar.
As the home side pressed for a winner Scotland international Brian O'Neil shot over from long range and, after coming on as a late substitute, Danny Dichio was denied by Camp from a firm header.
Etuhu saw a header saved late on, before visiting substitute Marcus Tudgay forced a great save from Nash in the last second.