Yes, the NodeJS module
serialport causes problems sometimes.
I am not sure that I've ever installed
npm, but I can say that
serialport causes issues sometimes because it has its own bugs under Windows. You need semi-specific versions of Python, NodeJS, and Visual Studio installed to get it to build, and they all need to be in your path at the same time.
Maybe it's a problem that others haven't experienced. I often screw with batch files to modify my %Path% variable based on what I'm working on, so maybe it's a problem of my own design.
If you DO have issues with serialport, though, let me know. Maybe I can offer some assistance.