What you do is start cranking the engine over, then spray some ether down the throat. It will start up for a second. I have actually kept a diesel running on ether until the can emptied out. We where trying to get the stupid pump to prime at the time.My experience has been it will only bind on ether and not start if NO diesel is present. I use a whiff on occasion. Extreme conditions call for extreme measures. Not recommended on a daily basis.
Didn't work since it had other issues.
Like I said earlier though, you really never want to use ether to start up a diesel engine. You can cause some serious damage to the engine if your not extremely careful.