it may be helpful to know what type of vehicle you are working on.
make, model, year, ect.
if we assume you are working on a 1997 F350, then a whining sound may indicate the fuel pump. it should kick on for a second when you turn the key on. if it is not doing that, then you have something wrong in the fuel system. be it a failed fuel pump, or fuel pump relay being the most common (in my experience).
sometimes you can get enough pressure out of a failing (failed) fuel pump to start the vehicle if you cycle the key on/off about 10 times in a row then immediately try to start the vehicle. sometimes it will run for a few seconds that way.
alternatively, have some one bang on the bottom of the fuel tank while you cycle the key then try to start. sometimes they will run for a few seconds after doing this as well.
both of these would indicate, to me, a failed fuel pump.... assuming you have a fuel injected truck.