If your previous drive crashed it's most likely shot. There are programs that can recover an image of the drive or possibly gather files that aren't corrupt. Try to do some searches online about recovering files from a crashed drive.
Installing the new drive is gonna be starting from scratch. Unless you backed up the previous drive or have an image of it, it's gone.
Having an SSD is always a plus. Start up is faster and browsing through the computer (with multiple programs/windows open) is much faster. Can never hurt to have a SSD as your master and use something like this SATA as the storage and program use (partitioned).