After upgrading WebSphere to 8.5.5 fix pack 2 or above, if a server is using Java 7 and the optional Java 7 service release is not also updated (as recommended), WebSphere will fail to start.
WebSphere fails to start after upgrade and native_stderr.log has the following error message:
JVMJ9VM007E Command-line option unrecognised: -Xcheck:dump
Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.
Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.
APAR PM97140 introduced -Xcheck:dump to the application server arguments which requires a minimum of Java 7 SR4.
Resolving The Problem
Upgrade the optional Java 7 to the recommended version to match the WAS upgrade: https://www-304.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27005002
15 June 2018