Time to revisit the issue of enabling mysqlnd in PHP in order to make Sphider function. I have given instructions in the past on how to enable mysqlnd if it isn’t already. I believe those instructions were either unclear or incomplete.
A bit of history… At one time, mysqlnd was a separate module from mysqli. That is no longer the case. Mysqlnd (mysql native driver) is built into PHP. However, some hosting companies, particularly where shared hosting is concerned, have the installation configured so as to NOT enable mysqlnd. Why this is I do not know. Why not just have it enabled from the get-go since it is a NATIVE driver and is already part of the package!
Fortunately, most users do have access to CPanel, which allows the user to change the configuration. But this can get interesting as the method is a bit counterintuitive.
To enable mysqlnd, you need to disable mysqli (which you really aren’t doing!), but then you also need to enable nd_mysqli! Are you confused yet? Trust me, this works. I have two shots of CPanel showing the CORRECT settings to get mysqlnd working on your system.