I hit this problem once or twice a year and always seem to forget how easy it is to fix the problem. This blog post will ensure that not only I remember, but the entire Internet will remember the solution I use.
The problem is simple: You pull down a repository that uses NPM for package management onto your Windows machine, you type
npm install and you get something like this:
npm ERR! Failed at the <package>@<version> install script 'node-gyp rebuild'
gyp ERR! stack Error: Can't find Python executable "python", you can set the PYTHON env variable.
This is because the project you're trying to build requires the node-gyp package to build something natively on the platform. That package required Python 2.7 and a few other pieces too.
Simple problems sometimes get simple solutions.
Thanks to the node-gyp team, that is the case and they have documented it in the project README.
Using a PowerShell CLI instance with administrative priviledges, and use the following code:
npm install --global --production windows-build-tools
And that's it.
There is a manual option as well, but I haven't needed to use it as the first option always works for me.