Richard Garcia scored one goal and made the other to hoist Hull out of the npower Championship relegation zone with a 2-0 victory that piled the pressure on Preston boss Darren Ferguson.
The Australian forward missed a glorious chance after 15 minutes but produced an excellent diving header to convert Robert Koren's cross shortly after.
On-loan Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone made his debut for Hull but Preston gave him little to think about in the opening period aside from an early Adam Barton effort.
After the interval North End posed a greater threat and Iain Hume's 25 yard drive was excellently tipped onto the inside of the post by Mannone.
But a horrible error from Sean St Ledger - playing out position at left-back after North End skipper Callum Davidson departed at half-time - allowed Garcia to set up Nicky Barmby for his third goal of the season.
Jay Simpson could have added further gloss to the scoreline for Hull when he hit the post in stoppage time, but it did not matter as a beleaguered North End were left rooted in the relegation zone.