Deformation-induced nanocrystallization has been investigated in a marginally Al88Y7Fe5 glass forming alloy. Conventional calorimetry and microstructural analyses of materials that have been subjected to high pressure torsion straining (HPT) at room temperature indicate the development of an extremely high number density of small Al nanocrystals. The nanocrystals appear to be distributed homogeneously throughout the sample without any evidence of strong coarsening. Moreover, the comparison between nanocrystallization caused by the application of either HPT, cold-rolling or in-situ TEM tensile straining yielded the identification of the probable mechanisms underlying the formation of nanocrystals. These results form the basis for the development of advanced processing strategies for producing new nanostructures with high nanocrystal number densities which allow increased stability and improved performance.