Basically, it works like this, if you're in a raid that has successfully killed a big boss (say Lucifron in Molten Core for example) then you are saved to that particular raid until the instance resets again. That means you are locked out of a different raid group's run. You can't be in two different raids of the same instance in the same week.
However, if your raid has not killed a boss, then you are not saved to that instance for that week, and can join any other raid group for that same instance.
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All raid instances reset at a certain server time on certain days, regardless of when players were actually saved to the instance. The reset times are as follows:
Blackwing Lair: Every 7 Days during weekly maintenance
Molten Core: Every 7 Days during weekly maintenance
Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (40-man): Every 7 Days during weekly maintenance
Onyxia: Every 5 Days at 3:00AM
Zul'Gurub: Every 3 Days at 3:00AM
Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (20-man): Every 3 Days at 3:00AM
Resets occur at 3:00AM or during weekly maintenance.
As the reset time approaches, players inside instances will be informed of the impending reset every hour on the hour. 15 minutes before the reset, the /reminders become more frequent; once the reset time is reached, all players in the instance will be ported to their bind point. You can access your saved raid status at any time via /raidinfo, and you will be informed of your status regarding an instance when you zone into the dungeon.
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