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I had same symptoms on a Hotpoint dishwasher.
Turned out to be a failed water heater.
The logic in this case goes like this:
When wash cycle starts, the first thing the machine does is pump out any water that has collected in the sump since it was last run.
It then allows a small amount of clean water in and enables the water heater.
If heater okay, it then continues with the rest of cycle.
In this case, the control board detected failed heater so pumps out the water and then stops with an error code shown by a flashing lamp.
No simple fix I'm afraid - machine had to be turned on its side, bottom panel removed, several items had to be removed to get at the water heater which was then repalced with a new one.
You dont state what make/model your dishwasher is so maybe worth adding this information as someone else may recognise your fault and have a quick fix.
There is a drain hose for your dishwasher and it often gets clogged. remove and clean it , reinstall and problem solved. If this doesnt fixya then might have to throw parts at it. Not sure though without cleaning the hose first. Good luck
Took sides off to have a look.
Then turned on (but didn't touch!!) and was still making noise but no water. Lifted the float switch up and down and the water then started to come into machine. Drained machine and started it up again a few times to check wasn't a fluke and all seems well again!!! I was virtually on the point of giving in and buying new one as its 8 years old but hurray! not going to be that broke this month!! Husband will be pleased.
pump under bottom front panel might be clogged remove hose clap from pump,cleanout,also can use shop vac.,also remove lower spray arm then remove filter clean and replace,also check under sink make sure drain hose is not kinked,thanks-mike