Got this error while building a SharePoint 2013 single server install for classroom use:
"Unable to retrieve topology component health states. This may be because the admin component is not up and running."
The error was displayed on the search services administration page in the Search Application Topology section. At the same time the search crawls were stuck in "Starting" and all site searches were failing.
Searching the web found a number of reports of this error and numerous solutions that did not work on my server. Many of the solutions were from the days of the beta releases. I finally found the solution for my server on Marc Molenaar's blog site (http://www.mavention.nl/blog/sp2013-installation-lessons-learned-part-1) and he had a link to TechNet discussion where Paul Stork had the solution… an issue with the search proxy and a fix using PowerShell. See Marc's article for the PowerShell script.
I now have a working search and all green checkboxes in the Search Application Topology section of the search admin page!